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[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
June 6 to 10, 2005

The following summaries are drawn from briefs and lower court judgments. They are meant to provide a general idea of facts and issues presented in cases, and should not be considered official court documents. Facts and issues presented in these summaries should be checked for accuracy against records and briefs, available from the Court, which provide more specific information.

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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Monday, June 6, 2005

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
No cases scheduled

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Jeb Bush v. Ruth Holmes

SC04-2323 | SC04-2324 | SC04-2325

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 In 1999, a statute was enacted creating Florida's Opportunity Scholarship Program, the first statewide school voucher program in the nation. Several groups sued the Governor and others on grounds that the program violated the state Constitution. The trial court struck the statute as unconstitutional, and the First District Court affirmed. Please see the Special Procedures Order in this case on-line at: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/voucher/index.shtml Statewide impact
Court in Recess 10:00
Curtis Jones v. Martin Electronics, Inc.

SC04-1538

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

11:00 Jones was severely injured and burned on the job in May 2000 when Building 78 at the Martin Electronics Plant suddenly exploded. He received workers compensation benefits, but later sued on grounds that his employer's conduct leading up to the explosion was not protected by workers compensation immunity. The trial court denied Martin Electronics' motion for summary judgment, but the First District Court reversed. Taylor County


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
In re: Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

SC04-2246

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 The Court is considering The Florida Bar's out-of-cycle filing of proposed rule amendments. The proposals, which affect Chapters 4 and 5 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, were developed by The Florida Bar's Special Committee to Review the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct 2002 based upon changes recommended by the ABA Ethics 2000 Commission. The primary purpose of the proposals is to protect the public and maintain the core values of the legal profession. Statewide impact
In re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

SC05-179

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 9:40 The Court is considering The Florida Bar's proposed two-year cycle amendments to various Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The Florida Bar's Civil Procedure Rules Committee seeks to amend the following rules: 1.380 (Failure to Make Discovery; Sanctions); 1.420 (Dismissal of Actions); 1.431 (Trial Jury); 1.510 (Summary Judgment); 1.989 (Judgment Dismissing for Lack of Prosecution); and 1.997 (Civil Cover Sheet). Statewide impact
Ernest Whitfield v. State of Florida

SC04-651

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 10:30 In 1995 Ernest Whitfield was tried and convicted for the first-degree murder of Claretha Reynolds, the sexual battery with a deadly weapon of Willie Mae Brooks, and armed burglary. Whitfield received the death penalty for the first-degree murder charge. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The case is now before the Court on Whitfield's first motion for postconviction relief. Sarasota County
State of Florida v. Eusebio Hernandez

SC04-1331

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 11:10 Hernandez allegedly hired another man to kill his ex-wife and her boyfriend. After the codefendant was apprehended, the police and the codefendant made a recorded phone call to Hernandez in which they tried to get Hernandez to incriminate himself. The trial court suppressed this recorded phone call, and the Third District affirmed. The issues presented before this Court are whether the Third District erred in finding that such an order was not appealable under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(c)(1)(B) and whether the admission of this recorded phone call would violate the Confrontation Clause. Miami-Dade County


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
In re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration

SC05-173

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 The Court is considering the Florida Bar's Rules of Judicial Administration Committee's regular-cycle report of proposed amendments to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. Statewide impact
Margorie Willis v. Gami Golden Glades, LLC.

SC04-1929

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 9:40 Marjorie Willis was carjacked at gunpoint while parking her car in a hotel's overflow lot at the direction of the hotel's security guard. The Third District Court of Appeal held that her claim for psychological damage allegedly sustained as a result of the defendants' negligence for failing to protect her from foresseable criminal action was barred by Florida's impact rule. The Third District certified four questions to this Court as matters of great public importance surrounding the applicablity of the impact rule to the facts of the case. Miami-Dade County
In re: Amendment to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar

SC05-206

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 10:30 The Court is considering The Florida Bar's annual petition to amend various Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. The Bar seeks to amend numerous rules, propose one new rule (Rule 4-5.8 Procedures for Lawyers Leaving Law Firms and Dissolution of Law Firms), and delete one rule (Rule 3-7.12 Disciplinary Resignation From The Florida Bar). Statewide impact
In re: Amendments to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.172

SC04-2255

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 11:00 The Criminal Rules Committee petitions the Court to amend the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Proposals include a rule requiring that defendants be notified that pleading guilty or no contest to certain crimes may later subject them to civil commitment under the Jimmy Ryce Act. Statewide impact


Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments

Friday, June 10, 2005

Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Daniel v. Costarell v. Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission

SC04-1429

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 Costerall filed for unemployment compensation benefits. He appealed a ruling against him, but failed to file for benefits for the entire time his case was on appeal. When it was determined that he was eligible for benefits, he was denied benefits again for the duration of the appeal. The Second District Court of Appeal held Costarell was ineligible for compensation for the all weeks in which he did not file claims, and certified conflict with a decision of the Third District Court. At issue is whether a claimant must continue to file claims for unemployment benefits pending a claimant's appeal of eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. Hillsborough County
In re: Report of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules & Policy Committee on Senior Judges as Mediators

SC04-2482

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 9:40 The Court is considering the Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy's Final Report on Senior Judges as Mediators. The report addresses whether senior judges should be allowed to serve as mediators, and if so, under what conditions. The report contains proposed amendments to the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, the Code of Judicial Conduct and various rules of procedure. Statewide impact
State of Florida v. Erick Richardson

SC04-174

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

Approx. 10:30 The Fourth District Court of Appeals held that a prior conviction in which the defendant only received probation is not a "sentence" for purposes of applying the sequential sentence requirement of the habitual offender statue. This statute requires that the two felony offenses serving as the basis for "habitualization" be sentenced on prior and separate occasions. Other districts have disagreed and held that a defendant's habitual offender status can be based on a prior conviction for which only probation was received. These other districts have certified conflict with the Fourth District's decision in this case. The State appeals the Fourth District's decision and argues that the other districts' rulings should be followed. Broward County



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